I'm not a great leaver, but I've noticed I'm pretty good at it sometimes. I walked away from my life's passion of baseball without a glance backwards. I buried with ease a decade of dedication and love and hard work. Being freed from Sacred Heart-Griffin and the Catholic Church was the closest thing to being saved I've ever felt. There are tons of people and memories there that I promise I'll never forget or regret, but I'd be lying if I said the sun wasn't shining brighter than normal the afternoon I left the commons for the last time.
And now I'm leaving Springfield for college, which also feels easy. Endless opportunities are right within my grasp, and most of the time I can drown out my nostalgia and fear pretty easily with visions of the potential of what's to come. But that's not a mindset you can keep for every hour of every day. Try as I might to live in the big picture, the bittersweet reality still slips through the cracks most days, and I end up wishing I could have time to relive my great memories or unravel all my little what-could-have-beens.
This summer has been (easily) the best I've had in 18 years. I've found little bits of happiness from every imaginable medium of places, experiences, and relationships. This summer has been twice as long as any summer before it, and I've had twice the fun in every hour of it. And that gives me all the more love for all the people I've met and made connections with. And that makes me all the more upset that in 2 and a half weeks, all of that love is getting cut off, god knows what percent of it forever. Even as I know new ones will take place, I know a lot of inevitable adventures and misadventures will never happen. In a lot of people I can already see our friendships faltering, which carries a lot of doubt about the future of them. A lot of people I want to know forever and still contact when I'm 50, and I know this will be true with maybe 3 of them, if I'm lucky. I've learned lately that the recent future will take just as much as it gives. Sometimes I get choked up and I want to cry. I'm desperate to cling on to what I've got, yet I'm equally desperate to move on and become who I'm going to be.
Some things you don't leave, but you're forced from. Relationships, great adventures, and ages in life come and go, seemingly from beyond anyone's locus of control. Those things suck to leave, to the point where nostalgia feels almost like a physical scar. And then I come up with the best of excuses: "Fuck her; I never did anything wrong," "It's all a part of life," and "Some things are unattainable - I can't expect more than the expected." That's when I realize that I've thrown away my fair share of potential relationships, or that I'm the one who put my toys in bins to make room for work uniforms and school textbooks. I'm the one who mailed in my college applications. I'm not staying here; I'm sacrificing everything I'm familiar with, and it's worth it to chase whatever dreams I can hold on to without actually growing up. I know everyone's being dealt pretty much the same hand as me, but I'm still really scared, and I often find myself feeling more like a teenager than I ever have before.